Mike Tate is Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin
While grassroots volunteers from counties all across Wisconsin were standing out the in cold collecting more than 1.9 million signatures to save Wisconsin from Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch and his cronies in the state Legislature, Scott Walker was secretly flying all over the country on a corporate cash bonanza to put Wisconsin up for sale to the highest bidder.
The total haul for Scott Walker? More than $4.5 million in just five weeks, with 61% of that total coming from out of state.
Our research shows that citizens of Wisconsin can have no confidence that Scott Walker is working for them and their interests and every suspicion that he is advancing an extremist agenda run by corporate puppetmasters from places like New York, Texas and Missouri.
Since Scott Walker launched his assault on Wisconsin workers to give massive handouts to out-of-state corporations, he has raised an astounding $5,749,926.26 from out-of-state donors.
His out-of-state special interest cash bonanza includes $490,000 in donations from right-wing Texas billionaire Bob Perry, which we believe is his largest donation to a single candidate, eclipsing his previous record-setting donations of $350,000 to Susana Martinez for New Mexico Governor in 2010 and $400,000 to Rick Perry for Texas Governor in 2006.
Bob Perry is a good ol' boy of George W. Bush and Karl Rove who ponied up more than $4.45 million to launch false attacks trashing Senator John Kerry's heroic Vietnam War record in 2004. In total, Bob Perry has donated at least $19 million since 2004 to prop up extreme Republican candidates and launch nasty, and in some cases, illegal smear campaigns against Democrats.
But Scott Walker's extreme super-rich donors don't stop with Bob Perry.
His campaign finance reports also includes the following:
- C. Boyden Grey, co-chair of Freedomworks, a D.C. powerbroker who is tied at the hip to Dick Armey and the corporate Tea Party extremist movement.
- Bruce Kovner, the billionaire manager of the world's largest hedge fund, who finances and chairs the American Enterprise Institute. That's the right-wing think tank that produced the likes of Dick Cheney and which hosted Walker just weeks ago.
- A troika of super-rich donors from Missouri whose donations total $750,000:
- David Humphreys, founder of Black America PAC (whose former spokesman was Herman Cain), which advocates for school choice, 'enterprise zones', and race baiting on abortion.
- Sarah Humphreys Atkins, David's wife and co-founder of the right-wing "Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation" with David Koch. She is also on the board of the Future of Freedom Foundation, which advocates for ending Social Security, Medicare, public schools, and income tax, calling them "waged immoral and destructive wars on our freedom, our property, and our well-being."
- Stanley Herzog, chairman and CEO of Missouri-based Herzog who gave more than $100,000 to a single state Senate candidate in the past.
- Rex Sinquefield, A rabid school choice advocate, who has started over 100 PACs in Missouri to avoid contribution limits and push his personal agenda. In Missouri, he has been a proponent of an 'Everything Tax', a regressive sales tax to replace the state income tax and place more of the tax burden on working, middle-class families.
- John Bryan, a supporter of right-wing extremist Sharron Angle and head of Club for Growth in Oregon who gave a speech at the Koch brothers' annual retreat according to the Center for American Progress. But Bryan is no stranger to Wisconsin politics - he was a $10,000 donor to ethically-challenged Supreme Court Justice Gableman's 2008 campaign.
Scott Walker enjoys a huge financial advantage not because of any record of success-in fact, we've just learned that Wisconsin is alone in the nation in losing jobs six months in a row.
Scott Walker is raking in the cash from Swift boat cowards and Texas oil billionaires and New York hedge fund managers because he is willing to use Wisconsin as a petri dish for his right-wing extremist experiments.
Scott Walker's finance report is a document unlike any seen in Wisconsin history and it shows how he is willing to use the power of a wealthy, elite few in a desperate attempt to hold onto power by trying to silence the collective voice of the more than a million Wisconsinites who want their state back.
But money does not vote at the end of the day. A million strong, we were able to prove that and we will prove it again when, in the face of Scott Walker's filthy millions, we replace him as governor.
I look forward to your questions and I will answer them shortly after the President's State of the Union Address this evening